Dr. Andrew Matisoff cradled newborn Evie in his arms before her open heart surgery in 2018 at Children’s National Hospital. She had been diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome, Williams Syndrome, leading to a narrowing of the blood vessels from her heart, and had a high risk of experiencing problems under anesthesia. The surgery she needed would save her life.

Dr. Matisoff stepped up to the challenge. As he held Evie that day, he thought of his own kids, 7-year-old Ally and 5-year-old Danny. He told Evie’s parents that he would take care of her as if she were his own. He would monitor every breath and heartbeat to keep her comfortable and safe.

“You get them through difficult surgeries with good results and it’s a great feeling,” he says. Even better? Reuniting with those he calls “his kids,” like he did with Evie and her family in spring of 2019 to film a video that features her story.

“When I see Evie, a beautiful, smiling child—who might not have survived to see her first birthday without surgery, I feel rewarded for our team’s hard work.”

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.

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A young patient at Children's National Hospital.